Prisoner living the high life
He boasts in video of flashy habits, tells of his expensive clothes, jewellery and food
TEBOGO Makena, a Pretoria prisoner who boasted about his flashy lifestyle in a video circulating on social media, is living the high life behind bars.
Inmates at Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre said they were not shocked to see Makena trending on Twitter yesterday as he lived a life of privilege in his single cell in A Section because he allegedly paid prison wardens for favours.
“This is not new to us. He boasts about clothes, jewellery and food. Wardens bring this stuff for him and he pays them handsomely. He even runs a prisoners’ soccer team known as Chiefs. He scams people from outside while in prison and the warder sometimes collects the money for him from outside,” said an inmate.
“Makena, who is serving four years for malicious damage to state property and house breaking, is also facing an ongoing charge of fraud and forgery,” said Gauteng Correctional Services spokesperson Mocheta Monama.
Makena, who is from Soshanguve, and Lucas Masemola were caught last year while running an extortion scam from inside Odi Prison. They allegedly posed as police investigators and would call police stations to obtain information on car hijackings and car theft.
They would then contact crime victims, inform them that their vehicles had been recovered and advise the victim to deposit certain amounts of money through eWallet to get their vehicles back, police said at the time. He was then transferred to Pretoria.
Inmates at Kgosi Mampuru II said Makena could still be benefiting from the scam as he always had money.
In the video posted on Twitter yesterday, Makena and an unidentified inmate are seen boasting about a new pair of Louis Vuitton and Gucci shoes that Makena had just bought for R13 000. In the video Makena brags that he does not buy his clothes from Marabastad and shows off a Louis Vuitton invoice. He is then heard saying the shoes were bought from Shop 26 Upper Level at Sandton City.
The video also shows luxury food items such as Jacobs Kronung coffee, All Bran Flakes and a Russell Hobbs kettle, which are luxury items in jail.
Makena, who also goes by the name “Batista” in jail, is said to have irked some inmates because of his tendencies.
“He boasts a lot and can be very childish at times. This has created some envy and enemies for him,” said another inmate.
Although an obvious offence seen in the video was the use of cellphones, Monama said other possible offences will be revealed once their investigation was done.
He said his department condemned the video and would leave no stone unturned during the probe.
“Due to the seriousness of the matter, we immediately instituted an internal investigation.
“The investigation will also assist in ensuring that plans are in place to minimise the recurrence of similar incidents. If found guilty the inmates may face criminal charges and this may result in an additional term of imprisonment,” said Monama.
He added that they were fighting the smuggling of contraband in jails because it was a criminal offence.